I decided not to talk about my children this week, a very difficult task I might add since week to week they do things that excite and inspire me to write. But this past week I found an outside source that captivated my mind and left me in awe after watching it; I couldn’t help but to write about it.
My husband planned an elaborate weekend filled with festivities for my birthday. We made arrangements with family to watch the boys so that we could have dinner at two restaurants on Friday and Saturday night: one called Max Brenner, the other called Chakra which I might add was elegant, customer service driven, and of course the food was delicious. My husband and I love to eat and enjoy great conversation over delectable dishes and usually I am content after my meal and am ready to call it an evening. However this year we made a vow that on Saturday night we would push ourselves to stay out later, i.e. we must not return home prior to midnight.
For a few weeks he ranted and raved about an off Broadway play that he heard was amazing and we just had to see it. The tickets were more than $60 per person; and for a play that I hadn’t heard about; I certainly wasn’t going to waste our money on it. So going into Saturday we had no concrete plan except for dining at Chakra that evening. And because of my inability to pick a secondary event for the evening, the idea of seeing the off Broadway play came up. This time the tickets were more than $100 due to last minute ordering, limited tickets left – and of course the only tickets left were V.I.P access. “What is this play about? Macbeth? And wait, we don’t sit in an audience but instead we follow actors portraying the characters from Macbeth throughout a hotel? Why would I want to spend $100+ on that?” And after hearing my annoying questions my husband responds, “you promised…past midnight.” I give in. We go see the play and we return home at 3 a.m. So how was the play you might wonder?
The price we paid to see this play was well worth it. Sleep No More, an out of the box play crafted by collaborators Emursive and Punchdrunk depicts the story of Macbeth in a way that allows the audience to roam freely and choose the character(s) they wish to follow. The characters didn’t speak much, nor did they have to. Their artistic dance scenes whenever a character encountered another as well as their inflections told their story. Moreover the audience is in anonymity, that way everyone is aware of whom the characters are: of course the unmasked people roaming the building. Standing, at times, literally three feet away from the actors, I was amazed at how focused they were and how engulfed they were in their characters. The performers were able to drown out the swarm of audience members following them. I was captivated, and might I add emotional when we followed one of the female characters who lip sung Alan Price’s rendition of the bubbly and twisted song titled “Is That All There Is?” which was turned darker and twisted tighter due to the character’s interpretation of the song in the play.
I am a fan of film noir and to see a Shakespearean play such as Macbeth redone and retold in a modern and voyeuristic way was simply motivating and a gem to see. If you are in the New York area I highly recommend that you and a friend indulge and visit the McKittrick Hotel where the characters of Macbeth await your arrival.